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skyicon_76Ding.  New text.

15 new emails.

Look at that headline!

Mommy!

Honey, can you make me a sandwich?

The day begins and the sounds, requests, and digital stimulus come pouring in all at once.

No wonder we often start the day, well, grumpy.

Here are a five things I have been learning lately that have helped me shut out distractions and focus on what really needs to get done.  Productivity doesn’t just happen by accident.  It must be designed and protected with vigilance, especially in the digital age.

1.  The night before, I write out a list of the next day’s activities.  I like the old fashioned paper list on my desk that I can cross off along the way.  I decide what must get done the next day and what needs to get done by the end of the week.

2.  Before I check my email, I read my Bible and pray.  This ensures I will read the Bible and get my daily bread which frames my day in a positive way.

3.  I strive to check my email less than 10 times a day.  Do I really need to be checking my email several times an hour?  I am now trying to check my email in the morning, mid-morning, noon, etc. instead of checking it every few minutes.

4.  Limit Facebook to five minutes and then get to tasks.  Use a timer if necessary.  I like to check in but if I don’t set a limit, I will fritter my time away on Facebook instead of the manuscript I am currently writing.

5.  Be singular in focus.  If I am writing my manuscript, do that only.  If I am writing a blog post like this, keep at it until it is finished.  Coming back from distractions and interruptions takes precious time.  Take on one task at a time, finish it, and get to the next task.  Be singular in focus. 

What are your tips for shutting out distractions and staying on task?

 

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